The program to land an American on the Moon and return safely to Earth in the 1960s has been called by some observers a defining event of the twentieth century. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., even suggested that when Americans two centuries hence study the twentieth century, they will view the Apollo lunar landing as the critical event of the century. While that conclusion might be premature, there can be little doubt but that the flight of Apollo 11 in particular and the overall Apollo program in general was a high point in humanity s quest to explore the universe beyond Earth. Since the completion of Project Apollo more than twenty years ago there have been a plethora of books, studies, reports, and articles about its origin, execution, and meaning. At the time of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first landing, it is appropriate to reflect on the effort and its place in U.S. and NASA history. This monograph has been written as a means to this end. It presents a short narrative account of Apollo from its origin through its assessment. That is followed by a mission by mission summary of the Apollo flights and concluded by a series of key documents relative to the program reproduced in facsimile. The intent of this monograph is to provide a basic history along with primary documents that may be useful to NASA personnel and others desiring information about Apollo.
Book contributor NASA